LONDON (Reuters) – Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he has turned down three job offers since being sacked by the Old Trafford club last month, adding he was happy to bide his time before taking on his next challenge.
Speaking in his role as a pundit for broadcaster beIN Sports during the Asian Cup on Saturday, the Portuguese also said rival Premier League managers Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp were supported more by their clubs.
“I am happy with these three weeks, I am happy with this experience and I am going to have other experiences that normally I cannot have,” Mourinho said.
“But I know me, and I know by the end of March I will be struggling with my happiness.
“I will analyse things, I don’t like to speak about it. But I’ve refused already three options because I didn’t feel that it is what I want, so I’m going to be calm in this aspect.
“The more time I have, the better I can prepare. The next must be something that makes me happy with a challenge.”
At United, Mourinho was left frustrated in the close season transfer window when Liverpool, in particular, strengthened markedly and City added to a squad already deep in quality.
“In Liverpool, I think how many players were in Liverpool before Juergen arrived? No Alisson (Becker), no (Virgil) Van Dijk, no (Andrew) Robertson, no (Mohamed) Salah, no (Roberto) Firmino, no (Sadio) Mane, no Fabinho, no (Georginio) Wijnaldum, no (Naby) Keita, so this is work in depth,” he said.
“In the case of Manchester City. In the first season, Guardiola was not a champion, it was really difficult and people were expecting a winning Manchester City.
“They were coming already from winning period, champions with (Roberto) Mancini and (Manuel) Pellegrini. Some of the players were already champions twice, (Sergio) Aguero and (Vincent) Kompany, and in the first to the second season Pep made great decisions, but great decisions that were supported.
“For example, he didn’t want (Pablo) Zabaleta or (Bacary) Sagna, two right backs, and he didn’t want (Aleksander) Kolarov or (Gael) Clichy. In the same summer he sold four full backs and got four full backs. He got (Kyle) Walker, Danilo, (Benjamin) Mendy and another. He was supported.”
Mourinho said he did not know if he would work again in England but said wherever he goes next he wants to prepare thoroughly, as he did when he went to Inter Milan following his first stint with Chelsea.
“My arrival at Inter was perfect,” he said. “I left Chelsea in November and at the end of February I signed my contact at Inter. From February until June I was preparing myself for that job. In that four months I learned the language, studied the club and the opponents and the league.
“The time I’m without a job in football I prepare for the next one.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)